Martha Ratcliff

Depicting both the male and female sitter in varying states of melancholic stillness my practice seeks to challenge public attitudes to mental vulnerability and psychological feelings.

Each painting individually tackles and brings to light the notion of the meditative in-between place, the quiet and solitary moment’s that we all, as individuals, experience. My portraits aim to create their own world open to interpretation, thus creating a unique narrative for each individual. I explore the portrait as a place of intimacy and familiarity yet also of exploration and unfound emotion.

Interest is further created through the juxtaposition of figurative and abstract painterly languages and the fragmented brushstrokes, hinting towards a potential instability within the inner  landscape of the sitter and the stigma that can often surround psychological illnesses. The incorporation of the blank canvases also reflects on the sense of absence; either of emotion, identity or ones mentality.